TOTW: Feminism & Anarchy

At its root, anarchism is based on some assumptions of egalitarian relations. By default this implies a hostility to racism, fascism, and sexism (among other isms). Presumably that would make anarchists (almost by default) anti-racist, anti-fascist, and anti-sexist. However, anarchist history is filled with examples of thinkers and actors who don’t quite walk the walk, or, maybe if we are being charitable, don’t see the gaps between their praxis and their ideals.

Given the current hot mess of North American 24-hour news cycle politics, I’d like to focus on feminism. Being of a certain age, I came to embrace feminism (admittedly, not very well) as a core part of my ethical framework far before I embraced the A-word. However, my time in anarchist spaces and projects has led me to see that this is not the case for all anarchists. Anarchists can be chauvinistic and patriarchal. We can harbor predators.

While I have found feminism an important lens to frame how I want to be in the world, both in interpersonal and group dynamics, I have also seen the jargon of feminism leveled against anarchists as a way to inhibit action and attack. At the same time (or on the other hand), anarchist spaces sans feminist critique often look pretty much like a bro-down.

How does feminism inform your anarchism, if at all? What bits of feminist theory or critique or practice do you find important? What are the pieces you find incompatible with your anarchism?